PEP EXCLUSIVE. Senator Grace Poe set to urge co-lawmakers to allot P15 billion for rehabilitation of Tacloban

Senator Grace Poe, who has given up her 2014 pork-barrel fund allocation, says "it would have been convenient to have it [PDAF], but then, sometimes, we have to look at the bigger picture. Yes, it’s convenient, but it’s also easily subjected to abuse because of the discretion."


Positibo si Senator Grace Poe na makakabangon ang mga Pilipino sa kabila ng mga sunud-sunod na mga hamon na kinakaharap ng Pilipinas.

Hindi pa man kasi nakaka-recover ang bansa mula sa 7.2 earthquake na yumanig sa Bohol at Cebu noong Oktubre, nanalasa na ang super-typhoon Yolanda sa southern Luzon at central Visayas noong November 8.

Pahayag ng first-termer senator sa PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), "Sa pagsubok na ganito, makikita mo talaga ang kakayanan ng ating mga kababayan, yung pagtutulungan nila.

"Tapos, isa pa, kahit papa’no, yung effort ng local government at national government na maging handa sa panahon ng sakuna...

"Kaya lang, hindi natin nakita ang pagkagrabe ng sinasabing storm surge.

"Hindi natin akalain na kasama pala ang tubig.

"Di ba, iniisip lang natin hangin lang kapag bagyo?"

Ang storm surge ay ang pagtaas ng tubig mula sa isang body of water, gaya ng ilog at dagat, bunsod ng malakas na hangin at mananalasa sa lupa.

Eksklusibong nakapanayam ng PEP si Senator Grace Poe sa opening ng Health Cube Diagnostic Clinic, sa New Promenade Shopping Center, Greenhills, San Juan, noong November 12, Martes.

REMAIN FOCUSED. Nauunawaan din daw ni Senator Grace kung ang ilang mga kababayan natin ay negatibo ang reaksiyon pagdating sa deployment ng relief at rescue assistance sa mga apektadong lugar.

"Siyempre, pag ganitong desperate situation, you’re very impatient.

"But, I think, we also have to take into consideration that with everything that has happened, the government has enough savings to actually be able to carry on the rehabilitation and the rebuilding [of the affected areas].

"That’s why as a legislator... wala naman na kaming PDAF [Priority Development Assistance Fund] na, e, hindi ba?

"Meron akong resolution na P15-billion rehabilitation program for Tacloban.

"And all of these areas, which are affected by Yolanda, which was done already in 1991 in Pinatubo commission...

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"It was a ten-year program.

"It was supposed to be ten billion [P10 billion], pero it ballooned to fifty billion [P50 billion].

"But, at least, this time, we have learned—hopefully—from that lesson.

“We should do the proper auditing."

Patuloy pa niya, "But fifteen billion will go a long way for the rebuilding efforts.

"And then, let’s not also forget those who were victimized by the earthquake in Bohol, kasi sabay-sabay ’yan, e, di ba?

"So, yung focus natin, it’s so distracted.

"We have to remain focused also that everybody needs attention."


NO TO PDAF. Ang tinuran ng senadora na wala nang PDAF ay may kinalaman sa balitang hindi na niya kukunin ang kanyang 2014 pork-barrel funds allocation.

Sa Pilipinas, ang bawat senador ay may allocation na P200 million pork-barrel fund kada taon.

Bukod kay Senator Grace, ang iba pang senador na hindi na kukuha ng kanilang 2014 budget ay sina Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero (na siya ring Senate finance chief committee), Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, at Senate President Franklin Drilon.

Sa ulat ng GMA News Online noong November 11, Lunes, anim pang senador ang nag-"give up" na ng kanilang 2014 PDAF budget.

Ito ay sina Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Antonio Trillanes IV, Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, Nancy Binay, Sergio Osmeña, at Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Aminado si Senator Grace na malaking tulong sana para sa isang mambabatas ang pork barrel, at magamit ito sa panahon ng kalamidad gaya ng nangyayari ngayon.

Pahayag niya, "I would say it would have been convenient to have it, but then, sometimes, we have to look at the bigger picture.

"Yes, it’s convenient, but it’s also easily subjected to abuse because of the discretion.

"So, what I’m saying is, should we redirect the PDAF to the calamity fund? But it’s still our discretion to do so.

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"So I tried to seek advice nga on what we should do.

"Since it’s the budget season, the best and most transparent way to do it is to realign funds to some other, let’s say, slow-performing government program... something like that.

"It will be debated upon on the floor, so talagang everybody will hear it.

"If you’re diligent enough, you can observe, so that’s how I want to do it."

Diin pa niya, "This is the budget season.

"Starting on the 18th [of November], the budget of all government offices will go to the Senate for approval.

"So, at that time, we can start analyzing where we can get certain amounts for other GOCC [government-owned and controlled corporations] and the alignment of the calamity fund."


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